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The Centre for Research in Social Simulation (CRESS), based in the Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Surrey, is a multidisciplinary centre bringing together the social sciences, computer science and agent-based modelling to promote and support the use of social simulation in research in the human sciences.

What is Social Simulation?

There is growing interest in using computer simulation to explore issues in the social sciences. Simulation is a novel research method in most parts of the social sciences, including sociology, political science, economics, anthropology, geography, archaeology and linguistics. It can also be the inspiration for new, process-oriented theories of society.

If you would like more information on CRESS research and activities, or to learn more about collaboration with CRESS, please email us.

For brief guide to social simulation, see Agent-based social simulation: dealing with complexity (PDF), by Nigel Gilbert.

Stay connected and receive updates on social simulation activities, research and new publications by subscribing to the SIMSOC listserv.


You can access models described in Hamill & Gilbert’s Agent-based Modelling in Economics here.

An agent-based model of the English housing market is documented here.

Code and a bibliography about the SKIN – Simulating Knowledge dynamics in Innovation Networks model is here.

A video about the HOPES model, exploring the complex nature of household energy use to benefit consumers and meet the UK government’s 2050 energy reduction targets, is available here.


Some of the books written by members of the Centre (see also the list of CRESS publications)